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Isle be loving Scotland!


VisitScotland has run a poll to find out which Scottish islands people would most like to visit.

The poll, run by the national tourism organisation to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the novel Robinson Crusoe, thought to be based on the life of Scottish castaway Alexander Selkirk, asked 1227 respondents from across the country to select the island or islands they wanted to visit most.

The top three islands were the Isles of Skye, Arran and Harris, closely followed by the Orkney and Shetland Islands, as well as the Isle of Lewis.

The Isles of Mull and Islay were also very popular and Bute, Barra, Iona and Tiree and Colonsay also made the top Scottish islands to visit.

Organised through ScotPulse, the first online research panel just for Scotland, the poll informed respondents about the 300th anniversary of Robinson Crusoe and its Scottish connections before asking them which of Scotland’s islands they would most like to visit. Fieldwork took place in September and respondents were evenly distributed in age, gender and location.

Robinson Crusoe was written by Daniel Defoe and published in 1719. Often credited as marking the beginning of realistic fiction as a literary genre, it is a contender for the first English novel and is presented as an autobiography of the title character - a castaway who spends 28 years on a remote tropical desert island near Trinidad, encountering cannibals, captives, and mutineers, before ultimately being rescued.

It is widely considered to be inspired by the life of real-life castaway Alexander Selkirk who lived for four years on a Pacific island called “Más a Tierra”, now part of Chile, which was renamed Robinson Crusoe Island in 1966.

Selkirk was from Lower Largo in Fife and the town has a bronze statue and plaque in memory of him as well as a sign pointing to Robinson Crusoe Island.

The timing of the poll is particularly apt as Scotland prepares to celebrate the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020, a year-long programme of events and activities which will shine a spotlight on these vital elements of our landscape.

 Chris Taylor, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director, said:“This latest poll further highlights the popularity of Scotland’s islands and I’m delighted to see such a range of islands from across the country voted for.“Our passengers frequently comment on how unique a visit to the Northern Isles really is, with such a vast range of history, local culture, music, arts, food and drink, nature, scenery and activities available. We’re very proud that visitors begin their adventure to Shetland and Orkney with NorthLink Ferries and love to hear the stories of their trip upon their return.” 

To learn more about Scotland’s islands, go to 

For more information about Year of Coasts and Waters 2020, go to 


Isle be loving Scotland!

VisitScotland run poll to find nation’s top islands

Asset type post
ID 111703
Word count 635 words


Licence Editorial A Licence to use assets for editorial purposes, which is, to illustrate an event or story in an article but not commercially such as marketing a product or print ad. An Editorial asset may show a brand, a trademarked logo or product, a public personality, or recognisable people, without a signed release or with limited releases. When you use VisitScotland Editorial content you do so to illustrate Scottish tourism in a positive way.
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